Ghana is known as one of Africa’s success stories, and for good reason. Despite the negative focus in the media, this West African country is an accessible, affordable, and safe destination for study abroad students. While studying abroad in Ghana, you will find there is more to Africa than war, famine, and genocide. The Ghanaian culture is about development, democracy, upbeat energy, and outdoor adventures. There is no doubt you’ll fall in love with these positive vibes as you study abroad in Ghana.
Best Places to Study Abroad in Ghana
Ghana is known for its stunning coastal beaches, diverse wildlife, and rich history. From national parks filled with roaming giraffes and elephants, to treetop canopies, to steamy hot cities, study abroad students have much to explore. Whether you want to balance your studies with a safari adventure or a history lesson, here are the best places to study abroad in Ghana.
Ghana’s heart lies within the bustling city of Accra. The streets are colorful with stalls selling fresh mangoes and banku (fermented maize meal), street performers dancing to Afro-jazz music, and more markets than you could imagine. After class, wander about to feast your eyes on vibrant textiles, cloths, and other traditional crafts that are not only lovely, but also an important part of Africa’s artistic history. On the weekends, grab a tro-tro (taxi) to take you to dance the night away with new friends.
If you want to catch your breath from Accra’s heat, consider studying abroad in Kumasi. Known as the “Garden City,” Ghana’s second largest city is dotted with lush trees, colorful flowers, and diverse wildlife. It’s soaked in Ashanti traditions, seeping through in the local dress, language, and religious practices. Visit the Manhyia Palace Museum for a glimpse into the lives of ancient Ashanti kings, or explore the city’s heart in the Kejetia Market, where Ashanti history is reflected in the local handicrafts.
Other students will decide to study abroad in Cape Coast for a beachside experience. Most will spend their days surfing, fishing, relaxing on the beach, and attending the many colorful festivals, but it’s also important to step back and soak in the history that lies in this coastal city. Cape Coast used to be the center for slave trade in West Africa and is one of the most culturally significant locations in Ghana. Despite the chilled out vibe, you’ll always feel a thickness in the air that is filled with it’s history.
Popular Subjects to Study in Ghana
Students have endless options when it comes to choosing a program focus. Though Ghana offers just about everything, here are the popular subjects to study in Ghana.
Two of the most well-known universities for Ghana study abroad are the University of Cape Coast and the University of Ghana. Both have excellent academics, classes are taught in English, and classrooms are filled with international students, as well as local Ghanaians. While studying abroad, international students often choose to study business, history, performing arts, or African studies. Classes normally have less structure, so they are best suited for independent types who enjoy working on their own.
Other study abroad programs offer more specialized, short-term classes. Attend the Academy of African Music and Art for a summer to learn the rhythms of African culture. Balance your rhythm-making skills with tie-dying, batik, or blacksmithing workshops where you’ll dive head first into the cultural arts.
Because Ghana is still a developing country, there are plenty of opportunities to combine studies with volunteer work. Consider lending a helping hand as you join a study abroad program with a focus on service learning. While part of your time abroad will be spent in the classroom, the rest can be spent as a volunteer at a local orphanage or hospital (where Ghanaian children will pull on your heartstrings).
Costs of Study Abroad in Ghana
Like many other African destinations, Ghana is extremely affordable for study abroad students. Once you’re on the ground, you may feel like a king (Jack Dawson, anyone?). The cost of living tends to be fairly cheap, especially if you live as the locals live during your Ghana study abroad. Take public transportation and shop at local markets for the best deals. You can flag down a street hawker carrying fruit on her head for a juicy snack, or grab a spicy corn on the cob from a local vendor.
As with any international travel, the initial cost of getting to your study abroad location can be expensive. Remember to make a budget to save for airfare and program costs. If you are still worried, check out the many scholarships available, or consider fundraising to get you to your Ghanaian destination.
Student Housing in Ghana
While some international universities in Ghana offer residence hall options for student life, the most popular option throughout the country is a homestay. What better way to experience true Ghanaian culture than by living with the locals? While residence halls can be fun, homestays allow you to see a different side of Ghana. You’ll feel the warm hospitality as a family takes you in, treats you to home-cooked Ghanaian meals every night, and takes you on excursions through the towns and villages.
Student Visas for Ghana
Not only is Ghana safe and accessible, but it is also much easier to obtain a visa than in most other African countries. In fact, for short-term studies of less than three months, students may not need a visa at all. For longer stays, the visa typically costs ~$60 and takes ~one month to process. Be prepared to submit to the embassy a letter of invitation from your Ghanaian university, along with your actual passport. For more information, check out GoAbroad’s Ghanaian Embassy Directory.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
When most think of Africa, they consider the stereotype of a country ravaged by war and streets lined with starving people. While safe, students will be challenged by the culture shock that comes with living in a still-developing country. There is no doubt you will experience some heartbreak while studying abroad in Ghana, but with heart-wrenching stories comes a more open-minded view and an appreciation for life.
Ghana radiates a unique positive energy. Locals will welcome you in like family and show you everything there is to know about their colorful culture.
From beaches to big cities, history lessons to drum circles, studying abroad in Ghana will be a travel experience filled with wild adventures, vibrant colors, and immediate friends. You’re Ghana love it!